Old iPhone software blocked as Apple pushes people towards iOS 16.5

iOS 16
(Image credit: iMore)

If you're restoring your iPhone today there's only one version of iOS for you — iOS 16.5 is now the one version of iOS that you can install.

That news comes after Apple stopped signing iOS 16.4.1, a move which prevents people from installing it afresh on iPhones that are either still running older versions of iOS 16 or are being downgraded from iOS 16.5.

Apple is of course already testing iOS 16.6 with developers as well as those who are on the public beta program, but it isn't yet ready for primetime and is unlikely to be for a little while yet.

iOS 16.5 or the highway

Apple's iOS 16.5 update didn't make a huge number of changes to the way the iPhone worked, although it did add a new Sports tab to the Apple News app as well as add support for starting a screen recording using Siri.

Apple routinely stops signing older versions of iOS for a couple of reasons. One of those is to ensure people aren't installing insecure versions of the iPhone's software, either accidentally or to allow hacks to be employed. The other is to make sure that people are using the latest APIs to allow developers to build apps that take advantage of them.

Of course, iOS 16.5 will soon be old news with Apple expected to announce iOS 17 during the WWDC 2023 event on June 5. The release will likely get its own beta almost immediately following the event, but it won't be made available to the public until in or around September. That's also when we expect Apple to announce the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups as well.

The best iPhone of the year, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, is set to sport the first iPhone camera using periscope lens technology for improved zoom capabilities. The two Pro models are also expected to sport a new titanium construction as well as an Apple Watch Ultra-like Action button.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.